It's summertime again and 99.9 percent of everything is that much more wonderful. No snow. No boots. No cold. No ice. But there is one thing about summer that makes it a lot less fun: bug bites. And if you're like me -- the kind of person who gets eaten alive every time she goes outside -- you'll know just what I mean.
Last summer the bugs in my neighborhood got so bad, I often didn't go out at all. And when I did, I came back in covered in red welts that itched like crazy. It was awful and a part of the season I will never be happy about no matter how much I love the rest.
I have tried everything to stop the itch. Benadryl. Calamine lotion. You name the OTC drug, I've tried it. But I haven't tried a lot of home remedies to curb the itch. Here are eight "proven" itch stoppers you can probably find in your house RIGHT NOW ...
1.) Scotch tape: It may sound crazy and it is (a little), but if you put a bit of scotch tape OVER the bite, you do two things: seal the bite off from the air AND keep yourself from scratching it and making it worse. People swear by this method.
2.) Nail polish: I am not sure I'd feel comfortable putting nail polish on my skin, but this summer, I am totally trying this one. It works for the same reason scotch tape works in terms of sealing off the bite.
3.) Aspirin: This stuff is AMAZING. Seriously. I need to get a bottle right now. Some say that if you take a couple pills, mash them up with water, and apply as a paste, the itch will stop immediately. But even if that doesn't work, at the very least, the aspirin will help relieve the inflammation and redness, which will make the overall healing time (and itching time) much shorter.
4.) Apple cider vinegar: This is one of those remedies you should just always have on hand. Not only does it taste good in chili and stews, it's also considered a great way to avoid colds and the flu with just a tablespoon. With bug bites, it's said to neutralize the pH balance. Worth a try, for sure.
5.) Banana peel: This has been used for years to help soothe poison ivy or poison oak. It has a medicinal, moisturizing element and can neutralize the itch of bites and other ailments.
6.) Table salt: Apparently if you moisten the bite with a little bit of water and then put table salt directly onto it, the itch will cease. True or not? I don't know. But I will be trying this next week after hanging out in the woods for my vacation!
7.) Rubbing alcohol: This allegedly dries the bite. You could also use witch hazel, though that's less likely to be in your medicine cabinet. This one just sounds soothing, so I'd believe it.
8.) Lemon juice: The same astringent properties in lemon or lime juice that make them good natural cleaners and helpful with toning the skin can take the itch out of any sting or bite quickly.
Like anything else, it seems half the battle is believing these remedies work. Whether they ACTUALLY do can be besides the point. If you believe they work, they will for you. Getting over a mosquito bite is always mind over matter anyway.
Still, I will be happy to have this list waiting for me when I am being tortured by a neck bite at 3 a.m., far from an open drugstore. Relief can be as simple as opening my pantry door. Who knew?!
Did any of these remedies work for you?